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Meeting ID: 810 6981 1186
France's longest river is one destination for travel lovers that never tires. The home of the kings and queens of France, its castles are a showcase for spectacular design and ingenuity. They sit in a landscape of gentle, rolling beauty along the banks of the Loire as it makes it lazy way to the Atlantic. Agriculture is the beating heart of the region, with vegetables and pasture dominating the landscape wherever the vine cannot thrive. From the eastern Loire we taste a classic sauvignon blanc from the chalky hills neighbouring the famous villages of Sancerre and Pouilly, before tasting a textural chenin blanc from Vouvray in the central Loire. In red, we encounter a new arrival from Bourgueil in a classic mould with a nod to Bordeaux in style, but with a distinctive wild edge that could only be from the Loire.
Chevilly 2019, Quincy - £16.00
Champalou Sec 2019, Vouvray - £18.00
Domaine de la Butte Haut de la Butte 2017, Bourgeuil - £23.00
Down Under life continues pretty much as normal in a virtually Covid-free continent, although just about the only thing that is free to enter or leave is wine! Our relationship with Australian wine is now so long standing that calling it new world feels distinctly quaint. Australia is a mature, progressive wine producer with well-defined regional classics that have stood the test of time, plus a hip new generation of experimenters with its finger on the pulse of the latest trends for minimal intervention winemaking and unusual grape varieties. Tonight we look at classic cabernet from the limestone rich soils of Coonawarra, a celebration of newly fashionable grenache, in a blend with syrah and mourvedre from an exciting new star, and a wine from the world's oldest marsanne vines, the iconic Tahbilk.
Tahbilk Museum Release Marsanne 2012, Victoria - £17.00
Sigurd Red Blend 2019, South Australia - £28.80
Katnook Founders Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Coonawarra - £17.30
Fleurie, Morgon, and the other crus of Beaujolais have a special place in the gastronomy of France, providing refreshing, charming, juicy wines to wash down the bistro classics that originated in nearby Lyon. The grape responsible, gamay, is like an easy going cousin of pinot noir, and although they are apparently unrelated, they come ostensibly from the same place, Burgundy, and - like pinot - gamay has established outposts across France, notably in the Loire and Auvergne. It is a vigorous vine that can produce a lot of vegetation and fruit if not kept in check. Overcropped gamay led to the Beaujolais crisis when its reputation was on the floor, but in recent years this characterful grape has been enjoying a renaissance in the hands of a cohort of France's most energetic young vignerons. At its best, it is sheer joy in a glass, sweetly fruited but bright, crisp and naturally playful.
Clos St Jean 2019, Cotes Roannaise - £14.40
Clusel Roch Traboules 2017, Coteaux Lyonnais - £16.90
Sunier Morgon 2018, Beaujolais - £25.00